The Academy's Black President Is 'Disappointed' With the All White Oscar Nominees

Illustration for article titled The Academy's Black President Is 'Disappointed' With the All White Oscar Nominees

Even the Academy president can’t hide her disappointment with this year’s all-white Oscar nominations.

Of all the minority actors who appeared in films in 2015, none were nominated for an Academy Award (no Michael B. Jordan or Ryan Coogler; no Will Smith). And even the technical categories are practically devoid of color. The nominations process shouldn’t shock anyone at this point (change is painfully slow).


Still, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy’s first black president, feels like the organization should maybe ease up on the exclusivity a little bit.

Of course I am disappointed, but this is not to take away the greatness [of the films nominated],” Isaacs told Deadline today. “This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board. You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it.”

That said, she adds, “We have got to speed it up.”

This is a noticeable change of heart from last January, amid the #OscarsSoWhite backlash, when Isaacs denied that the Academy had a “diversity problem”; she also said the Academy had “made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization.” In fairness, Isaacs admitted at the time that the Academy could do better, stating, “I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories.”


So we’ve seen this steady dialogue of her (and others) praising the Academy’s efforts while diplomatically acknowledging its room for improvement. Now, even Isaacs—who was reelected to her position last August—is saying it’s time to hurry up.

Every year, there’s talk of whether actors of color deserve nominations or not and whether they should even care about getting props from this white institution. It always comes down to taste and subjectivity. Then again, let’s ask ourselves how Jennifer Lawrence continues to be acknowledged, regardless of the quality of her work that given year.


Anyway, Chris Rock is hosting :)

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If there are going to be diverse nominees, you have to have diverse material and actors being greenlit by studios and producers. The Oscars are just the sore throat and stuffy nose, the disease is something else.